Research Symposium: Gender Factors Schredl, Maggiolini, Kramer

Gender Differences in Nightmare Frequency: A Meta-analysis Michael Schredl Many studies have reported gender differences in nightmare frequency. Data from 99 independent studies have been included in the analyses. Overall, estimated effect sizes in three age groups (adolescents, young and middle-aged adults) differed significantly from zero whereas the gender difference in nightmare frequency was not significant for children and older adults. The smallest effect size was found for children (0.031), the largest for young adults (0.266). Studies explaining this gender difference, however, are still lacking. Typical Content of Dreams in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Alfio Maggiolini The study investigates the way typical contents of dreams develop through adolescence and young adulthood. A dream and a waking episode were collected from each subject (500 males and 500 females, 11-25 years old) according to “the most recent dream” method, and applied to “a recent life episode." Results show that spatial confusions, gravity content and physical hindering characterize such dreams while emotions are not more frequent in dreams than in wakefulness. Bodily consciousness is more frequent in dreams that in waking narratives and increases with age, not differently from the sexual content, while contents of attack decrease. Dream Change in the Elderly: A Review of the Evidence Milton Kramer The dreams of the elderly have not been of great interest to dream researchers or geriatricians. The literature reveals a decrease in dream recall and characters in the dreams of the aged but an increase in family members in their dreams. Social interactions are decreased and gender differences found among the social interactions. Affect is generally decreased but death anxiety is increased. Regression occurs in dreams and the style of dreaming changes, with men becoming more passive and women more active. Disorders of dreaming may have diagnostic significance.